Municipal auditor fired with no severance

Premier Christy Clark's experiment in holding down municipal costs will continue with new auditor, minister Coralee Oakes says

Community

The B.C. government has fired its Auditor General for Local Government, after accountant Basia Ruta “lost all confidence” of her supervisors to complete audits that compare local government spending practices.

“The auditor general for local government’s obstruction of an intended review of her office has created an intolerable situation that compounds the unstable work environment and lack of performance from that office,” said Community Minister Coralee Oakes, who took the action on the recommendation of the government-appointed audit council.

Former deputy minister Chris Trumpy was due to start his own review of the new office Monday. It is the first attempt in Canada to do “performance audits” by comparing groups of municipalities, but the performance of Ruta’s office has become the pressing issue.

Oakes said Ruta will not be offered severance pay, because the government has determined she has been fired for cause. The work environment in the Surrey office of the AGLG had deteriorated, and Ruta’s decision to refuse Trumpy’s involvement led to the decision, she said.

Ruta issued a statement through her lawyer Monday, saying she will go to court to challenge the decision to fire her.

Hired to execute an idea proposed by Premier Christy Clark in her 2012 bid for the B.C. Liberal Party leadership, Ruta set herself a target of 18 audits in the first year. Clashes with the staff at her Surrey office and the audit council began to emerge last year.

NDP local government critic Selina Robinson said the two-year-old office has lost credibility over spending $5.2 million over two years to produce only one audit. Two more reports were issued last week.

The function should be included in the existing B.C. Auditor General office, which is an independent office of the legislature, Robinson said.

Oakes said she remains committed to the current structure, which had envisioned three audits in the first year and five in the second. It was Ruta who raised expectations far beyond that and then didn’t deliver, she said.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Town grants Chamber $20K

Chamber estimates up to $65K in lost revenue, turns to council for help

COVID-19 highlights lack of connectivity in First Nations communities

Many don’t have access required to utilize online platforms, says First Nations Technology Council

Salmon closures announced for Skeena and Nass watersheds

DFO notice expands on May 21 chinook ban throughout Skeena watershed

New Salt Boutique the realization of a vision for owner Caroline Marko

Marko combines the rough and the soft in a minimalist, clean airy space

Coastal GasLink pipeline work ramps up

With spring thaw ending, workers start to arrive for summer season

Vancouver Island bride held wedding in seniors home so dying stepdad could walk her down aisle

Ceremony held amidst pandemic in order to fulfill bride’s wish to have stepdad give her away

Yukon ready to lift COVID travel restrictions with B.C. in July: premier

Premier Sandy Silver says the territory’s health-care system can cope with the virus.

‘It is dire:’ Study finds B.C. logging continues on critical caribou habitat

The federal Species At Risk Act requires provinces to identify critical habitat for caribou herds

Grieving together, but apart: How funeral homes are handling the pandemic

‘Hugs are so important and right now hugs can’t happen’

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

This month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to doctors about MIS-C

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

COVID cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a BC mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Most Read